Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Enemy of the Good

Wine will never be perfect, just better for the screw top:

Traditionalists love cork, as do environmentalists, because it is natural and has served the wine industry for hundreds of years. It also has a satisfying pop when the bottle is opened.

Screwcaps, on the other hand, are seen as industrial, cheap and lacking the romance of the old "closure" but they have been hailed as the future because there is no danger they will spoil or "taint" the wine, a problem that is said to affect up to one in 10 corked bottles.

The tasters at this year's International Wine Challenge, discovered that while cork taint is on the decline, the problems affecting wines sealed with screwcaps have probably been underestimated.

From a blind tasting of more than 9,000 wines they discovered that 4.4 per cent of the corked wine had been tainted in some way while 2.2 per cent of the screwcapped wine had been damaged.

....Sam Harrop, a wine-maker who co-chaired the tasting, said that the problem with screwcaps appeared to be related to their greater efficiency as a seal and that companies who had been using them for a long time had all but eradicated the problem.

Or as Thomas Sowell might put it, the first question in economics should be, 'Compared to what?'

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